PASIGHAT- Chief Minister Pema Khandu today announced that all government schools of the state established before Independence will be declared as ‘Heritage School’ and given special attention for infrastructure development along with a museum within the premises.
This came in response to a request by organizers of the Platinum Jubilee celebration of the Government Secondary School, Balek near here, for declaring the school as a Heritage School.
Established as a Lower Primary school in 1946, the Government Secondary School, Balek, is celebrating its Platinum Jubilee, which was declared open by the Chief Minister today.
“This is one of the best requests that I have come across. Not only this school but all pre-Independence government schools in the state will be declared as Heritage Schools with a museum showcasing its rich history,” he said.
To another request, Khandu directed the Deputy Director of School Education (DDSE) of East Siang to submit a formal proposal to the government to expedite the process of upgrading the school to a higher secondary school.
“This is a historic occasion. The school’s journey of 75 years is a big milestone given the fact that Arunachal Pradesh was born as union territory in 1972 and became a full-fledged state only in 1987,” Khandu observed.
Hailing the school for producing many luminaries in its long journey of 75 years, he paid rich tributes to those who have passed away and congratulated those who are serving in various capacities and those who have retired.
Khandu said that from 3-4 schools established before Independence, Arunachal Pradesh today has more than 3000 government schools across the state.
“We have faced immense challenges particularly in the education sector but we have kept our progress steadfast,” he said.
He, however, emphasized on quality rather than quantity.
“We have focused more on establishing schools after schools without keeping an eye on quality of education being imparted in these schools,” he pointed.
Khandu blamed the huge number of schools without proper infrastructure and manpower in the state on ‘politics of appeasement’. He asserted that his government does not believe in political appeasement but on quality of schemes and projects.
“We have taken education very seriously. In fact we have shut down about 400 government schools having zero attendance. The process is still on. We don’t need more schools but we need quality education from the existing schools for which government is extending all support,” he said.
He informed that he has already given direction to the Education department for mapping of all government-run schools in the state so that the government can keep a tag on each school.
Reiterating the importance of School Management Committees (SMC) in proper functioning and development of schools. He advised the SMC members of every school in the state to regularly visit and interact with teachers, students and parents and then submit reports to concerned DDSEs for fulfilment of the requirements if any.
Referring to the 3-day Platinum Jubilee celebration, Khandu urged the alumni of the school to raise the topic of quality education in their discussions.
“Alumni of this school, who have gathered here for the 3-day celebration, are well educated and knowledgeable persons with vast experiences. Please discuss on how we can improve the quality of education in government schools and pass on your suggestions to the government,” he appealed.
Earlier in the day, Khandu unveiled the bust of late Ketem Yomso, who donated the land for establishment of the Balek school, inaugurated the retrofitted and beautified school gate by a local NGO – Giidang Angong Society and joined a tree plantation drive at school campus besides felicitating 10 meritorious alumni of the school.
He also inaugurated 5 development projects and laid the foundations for 13 more projects at Pasighat besides announcing a new market on the land donated by locals.
Also present were MP Tapir Gao, MLAs Kaling Moyong, Ninong Ering, Lombo Tayeng, Gum Tayeng, Talem Taboh, Ojing Tasing and Kanggong Taku and officials of the district administration.